Local Workforce Development Boards Partner to Connect Talent to over a Thousand Regional Job Openings

In response to the national labor shortage, Philadelphia Works Inc. and MontcoWorks, two Mid-Atlantic workforce development boards, recently partnered to host an in-person career fair at Citizens Bank Park. Over 75 businesses representing multiple industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, were able to connect with over 400 career seekers, doubling last year’s outcomes for both business and career seeker attendance.

While economic recovery in the region is clear in many areas, indicated by increased wages and stronger consumer behavior, employers see minimal improvement in the labor pool. This becomes a point of frustration when thousands of Philadelphia residents remain unemployed. Workforce development professionals are looking at how the digital divide may play a role in that disconnect.

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“The trajectory and rate of our regional economic recovery will continue to be defined by three factors, quality data, strong partnerships, and equitable access to opportunity,” said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works. “While the pandemic incited the labor shortage, equity and access to employment and training opportunities was already an area of improvement for our workforce system. This in-person, multi-industry hiring event creates access to those who are marginalized by the digital divide. Both In-person and virtual workforce opportunities are necessary for career seekers and businesses to thrive.”

The pandemic forced many workers indoors and allowed only those in professional and technical occupation, and access to technology, to continue working. Frontline workers either endured through the pandemic, were laid-off, or chose to exit the labor force.

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, worker shortages continue to be a stubborn obstacle to getting our regional economy back on track. Through the hard work of partners like Philadelphia Works, Inc. the City of Philadelphia and all the employers participating in the career fair, we’re working aggressively to meet the needs of employers and career seekers alike, to ensure we’re providing people with access to the economic opportunities they deserve.” Dan Fitzpatrick President, Citizens Mid-Atlantic Region and Board Chair of Philadelphia Works, Inc.

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